Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Martin McGuinness in background
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Prince Philip deliberately avoided McGuinness, says royal historian

The Queen has shaken hands with the former IRA commander, Martin McGuinness, in one of the most powerful symbols of reconciliation since the start of the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Mr McGuinness, now the Deputy First Minister at the Stormont Assembly, met the Queen at an arts centre in Belfast.

The meeting was particularly symbolic as the IRA paramilitary group murdered the Queen's cousin, Lord Mountbatten, while he was on holiday in the Republic of Ireland in 1979.

Royal historian Charles Mosley said Prince Philip deliberately moved away from Mr McGuinness as he advanced to speak to him. He added that the duke's memories about the death of Lord Mounbatten were still 'bitter'.

  • 27 Jun 2012
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